Date/Time Event
Tuesday, 24th April
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Carcanet Press New Poetries, with Rebecca Cullen, Rachel Mann, Isabel Galleymore and Katherine Horrex

From the first New Poetries anthology, published in 1994, through to this seventh volume, the series showcases the work of some of the most engaging and inventive new poets writing in English from around the world. Many have gone on to achieve notable success: Sophie Hannah, Patrick McGuinness, Kei Miller, Caroline Bird, David Morley, Jane Yeh, William Letford, Tara Bergin, and Vahni Capildeo among them. Crucially, the New Poetries anthologies have never sought to identify a `school’, much less a `generation’: the poets included employ a wide range of styles, forms and approaches, and `new’ need not be taken to imply `young’.

New poetriesTonight Rebecca Cullen, Rachel Mann, Isabel Galleymore and Katherine Horrex all read their poems published in the anthology as part of the New Poetries VII UK tour. Rebecca – Becky – is a regular customer of ours and is well known on the local poetry scene, not least for jointly organising the Wired poetry series.

£4.00, including refreshments. To book a place, simply email us at

This reading is part of Nottingham Poetry Festival

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 26th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Black British graduates, untold stories, with Amanda Arbouin

Ten British graduates of African-Caribbean heritage review their school and post-school education and their careers. They relate how they navigated the obstructions (and micoraggressions) encountered while pursuing academic qualifications and discuss their choices of employment. This session will be of particular value to Black graduates and undergraduates, and those responsible for teaching.

black britishAmanda Arbouin is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at the Nottingham Institute for Education and is the author of Black British Graduates.  She has undertaken project management, research and consultancy for organisations including Jamaica National Children’s Home and University of Nottingham.

Free, refreshments provided

Booking essential.  To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 30th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Book Group: Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The title of what was originally a blog entry alone caused a sensation and went viral. The blog entry became a book, perhaps one of the most important books published in 2017. Eddo-Lodge offers a different framework for how to see, acknowledge and respond to racism.

Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People about Race is only in hardback at the time of this post but comes out in paperback on 8/3/18. As always – though you can source the books wherever you like – we offer 15% off book club books in the period leading up to the discussion (whether you come or not!).

Free, refreshments provided

To book a place, simply email us at


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Friday, 4th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry Reading: J.R Carpenter, Isabel Galleymore and Zosia Kuczyńska

finalised-may-4thThe Nottingham Poetry Exchange is proud to present three contemporary poets.

J. R. Carpenter is an award-winning artist, writer, researcher, performer, and maker of zines, poetry, very short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, and non-linear, hypermedia, and computer-generated narratives.

Isabel Galleymore’s poetry and criticism on contemporary poetry and environmental writing have featured widely in magazines such as Poetry, Poetry London and Poetry Review. Her debut pamphlet, Dazzle Ship, was published in 2014 by Worple Press. Isabel teaches creative writing at the University of Birmingham.

Zosia Kuczyńska grew up in Nottingham, where she is currently a Teaching Affiliate at the University of Nottingham. Her poems have been published in The Open Ear and with The Lifeboat. Zosia’s pamphlet Pisanki was published by Emma Press in 2017.

£3, book your place on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 9th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Champions of equality: trade unions and LGBT rights in Britain, with Peter Purton

cwuThere is a big hole in the history of the LGBT movement in Britain. Each step towards equality for LGBT people, every positive move in public opinion, was the result of campaigning. But while individuals and lobby groups loudly promote their role in the victories, one major player has been written out of this history: the unions. This book fills the gap.

From the first strike action organised by trade union members to save the job of a victimised gay colleague in the 1970s, through the mutual solidarity of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, to the Trades Union Congress taking the initiative to save London Pride in 2012, and much more, trade unions have contributed immensely to the successes achieved, all the while protecting jobs and securing equality for thousands of LGBT working people.

Peter Purton was the TUC’s first LGBT officer. His book, of interest to everyone interested in equality and trade union history, reveals how LGBT trade union members organised to win recognition, then support, and how trade unions supported the struggles of LGBT communities in Britain and across the world.

This is an inspiring tale, and in the dangerous world of the twenty-first century, it is a warning call to the LGBT community and those supporting it, to wake up to new threats, to remember how past victories were achieved. The labour movement has much potential as an active participant in the unfinished fight for equality, but this book shows the need for mutual engagement to make change possible.

Tickets: £3 including refreshments

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 10th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
May Made Me: an oral history of the 68 uprising in France, with Mitchell Abidor

The mass protests that shook France in May 1968 were exciting, dangerous, creative and influential, changing European politics to this day. Students demonstrated, workers went on general strike, factories and universities were occupied. At the height of its fervour, it brought the entire national economy to a halt. The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution.

Fifty years later, here are the eye-opening oral testimonies of those young rebels. By listening to the voices of students and workers, as opposed to that of their leaders, May ’68 appears not just as a mass event, but rather as an event driven by millions of individuals, achieving a mosaic human portrait of France at the time.

This book reveals the legacy of the uprising: how those explosive experiences changed both those who took part, and the course of history. May Made Me will record these moments before history moves on yet again.

Mitchell Abidor is a writer and translator living in Brooklyn, USA. Amongst his many works, he is the author of May Made Me (Pluto, 2018) and the translator of Jean Jaures’s A Socialist History of the French Revolution (Pluto, 2015).

Tickets: £3.00, including refreshments.

Booking essential. To book a place, simply email us at

may made me

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 15th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Book launch: A Child Called Happiness, by Stephan Collishaw

A Child Called Happiness - Front CoverThree days after arriving in Zimbabwe, Natalie discovers an abandoned newborn baby on a hill near her uncle’s farm. 115 years earlier, the hill was home to the Mazowe village where Chief Tafara governed at a time of great unrest. Faced with taxation, abductions and loss of their land at the hands of the white settlers, Tafara joined forces with the neighbouring villages in what becomes the first of many uprisings.

A Child Called Happiness is a story of the choices made by our ancestors that can echo for many generations to come.

Free, refreshments provided.

Let us know you’re coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 16th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Municipal dreams, the rise and fall of council housing, with John Boughton

A narrative history of council housing—from slums to the Grenfell Tower

Municipal Dreams presents an alternative history of the United Kingdom. This history begins in the slum clearances of the late nineteenth century and the aspirations of those who would build anew. John Boughton looks at how and why the state’s duty to house its people decently became central to our politics.

Traversing the nation, Boughton offers an architectural tour of some of the best and most remarkable of our housing estates, as well as many accounted ordinary; he asks us to understand better their complex story and to rethink our prejudices. His accounts include extraordinary planners and architects who wished to elevate working men and women through design and the politicians, high and low, who shaped their work, the competing ideologies which have promoted state housing and condemned it, the economics which has always constrained our housing ideals, the crisis wrought by Right to Buy, and the evolving controversies around regeneration. He shows how the loss of the dream of good housing for all is a danger for the whole of society—as was seen in the fire in Grenfell Tower.

municipal dreamsJohn Boughton is involved in a number of housing campaigns. His blog is

This event in association with Nottingham and Derby Society of Architects and the 20th Century Society.

Tickets: £3, but free to students

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Nottingham Mechanics Institute, Nottingham
Wednesday, 16th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Nottingham Poetry Society reading, with Zayneb Allak and Rory Waterman

We are pleased to host this reading organised by Nottingham Poetry Society, part of the NPS relaunch events programme.

nwe-zayneb-allak-cover zayneballakphoto






Zayneb Allak has travelled and worked all over the world, and is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. Keine Angst (New Walk Editions, 2017) is her debut pamphlet. She recently left Nottingham. While here she was well known on the local poetry scene.

Rory Waterman will be reading from his latest Carcanet poetry collection, Sarajevo Roses, together with older and new, unpublished material. Sarajevo Roses is Rory Waterman’s second collection of poems. From the start we are in the company of a poet on the move . On sleeper trains, in cars and on foot, Waterman takes us into Mediterranean Europe, to Venice, to Krujë, to the ghost-town Craco, and to St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, where ‘selfie-sticks dance before us at the altar’. Sarajevo’s ‘neatened muddle of terracotta and concrete’ is twinned with the ‘church spires and rain-bright roofs’ of the poet’s former hometown, Lincoln.

The Sarajevo rose of the book’s title  is a mortar crater filled with red resin, in remembrance.  Surrounded by the war-shaped, memorial landscapes of Europe, the poet is faced by those smaller wars and memorials one carries within, marks left by lovers, friends, relations, and past selves.

Tickets: £4, including refreshments

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 17th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Workers' Movements and Strikes in the 21st Century, a global perspective with Jörg Nowak

While workers’ movements have reduced in size and were considered out of date in most parts of the world during the 1990s, this century has seen a surge in new and unprecedented forms of strikes and workers’ organisations.

workers movements

This talk spans countries across global North and South and provides an account of working class resistance in the 21st century. Is there a potential for solidarity among workers in different parts of the world? What has caused the return to strike action, what forms of organisation are developing?

Dr. Jörg Nowak’s current research  focuses on mass strikes in India’s automobile industry and in Brazil’s construction industry in the period between 2011 and 2014.

His past research was about general strikes in Western Europe, transnational solidarity networks of workers, strategies of German trade unions against inequality and on state theory. He is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Nottingham.

In association with The Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) at the University of Nottingham

Tickets: £3, redeemable against any purchase. Refreshments included.

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 22nd May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
New Walk poetry book launch, with Polly Atkin and Alan Jenkins

Image result for alan jenkins

Alan Jenkins was born in Surrey in 1955 and brought up in London. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 1981 and the Cholmondeley Award in 2006. He has worked for the Times Literary Supplement since 1981, as poetry and fiction editor, then deputy editor. He was also a poetry critic for The Observer and the Independent on Sunday from 1985-1990. His poetry collections include Harm (1994), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year); The Drift (2000), a Poetry Book Society Choice, shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize; A Shorter Life (2005), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection; and Revenants (2013).

Image result for polly atkin

Polly Atkin lives in Grasmere. She grew up in Nottingham, then lived in East London for seven years before moving to the North West. She has taught English Literature and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, the University of Cumbria, and most recently at the University of Strathclyde. Her debut collection of poetry is Basic Nest Architecture (Seren, 2017).

Polly and Alan will be launching their new pamphlets from New Walk Editions:, edited by Rory Waterman and Nick Everett.


£3.00 including refreshments. To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 23rd May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
酷儿同志 Queer Comrades, with Hongwei Bao

Queer Comrades bok cover_nPlease join us to launch Hongwei Bao’s new book on queer China, the first book to look at gay identity and queer activism in the People’s Republic of China from a cultural studies perpective.

Hongwei Bao’s book is a not just a study of ‘queer China’ through the lens of male homosexuality; it also examines the PRC’s socialist legacy and considers how the country is undergoing rapid transformations under the influence of transnational capitalism.  He examines queer films, fiction and personal diaries as well as research within the urban gay communities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Hongwei assesses  China’s socialist legacy in shaping sexual identity, queer popular culture and political activism.  His intelligence, engagement and sunny humour shine though his writing.

Dr Hongwei Bao is Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He holds a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Free, refreshments provided

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 24th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Brutalism, with John Grindrod

Note change of venue, back to the shop!

You will understand the true power of concrete and of mammoth-sized buildings, but also some of the more subtle aspects of brutalist buildings that you may not have known or considered.

Brutalist architecture, which flourished in the 1950s to mid-1970s, gained its name from the term ‘ Beton-brut’, or raw concrete – the material of choice for the movement. British architectural critic Reyner Banham adapted the term into ‘brutalism’ (originally ‘New Brutalism’) to identify the emerging style. The architectural style – typified by buildings such as Trellick Tower in London and Unite D’Habitation in Marseille – is controversial but has an enthusiastic fan base, including the speaker who is on a mission to explain his passion.


John Grindrod’s talk will be enlightening for those new to the subject, bringing humour, insight and honesty to the subject but will also interest those already immersed in built culture.

Illustrated with striking drawings by The Brutal Artist, the talk is divided up into a series of mini talks that explain the brutalist world from a human aspect (John grew up amongst these buildings), as well as an architectural, historical and even pop cultural angle. The book journeys from the UK to discover brutalism and its influence around the world – from Le Corbusier’s designs in Chandigarh, India, to Lina Bo Bardi’s buildings in Brazil.

John Grindrod came to the bookshop last year to talk about his book Outskirts, and he is a very good speaker.

In association with Notts and Derby Society of Architects and the Twentieth Century Society

Tickets: £3.00 on the door, but free to students

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 29th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Boshemia: culture, art, feminism

Join us for the launch of the third issue of Boshemia. The first issue included an examination of nudity in Reykjavik; a discussion on the intersection of black feminist identity and anti-jewellery; a symposium on coming out; and a reflection of the 80s genderbending trifecta of pop music—all there. The second issue included a lot about sex and gender, smartphones and outer space.

boshemiaExpect more surprises for the third issue of this international journal.

Tickets: £3.00 on the door, redeemable against a purchase of the magazine. Refreshments included.

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 31st May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Book Group: At the Existentialist Cafe, by Sarah Breakwell

… subtitled Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails… Paris, the early 30s. The three friends meeting over apricot cocktails on the rue Montparnasse are Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and their friend Raymond Aron. Out of the conversations comes existentialism, and this is the story of the people involved, their personal development and their philosophical development.

The book claims to make existentialism understandable. Will the book group agree?

Five Leaves Book Group is open. It usually meets on the last week of each month, discussing fiction and non-fiction. We’re happy that people come once in a while, we’re happy if people turn up every time. As long as they have read the book. We don’t mind where people source their books but in the lead up to meetings we offer 15% discount on book group books, whether people are planning to come or not!

Free, refreshments provided. But not apricot cocktails, sorry

To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Saturday, 2nd June
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
London Radical Bookfair

The biggest radical bookfair of the year, with a programme of talks.

Stalls from publishers and booksellers throughout the day.

Website and programme to follow

Organised by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers

Venue: Goldsmiths’, London
Sunday, 3rd June
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
May 1968 remembered

This event – run in conjunction with Sparrow’s Nest and the Notts and Derby Labour History Society comprises

12-2.00 A showing of the film “If” at Broadway – Broadway ticket prices apply, but we will have some tickets to sell too.

2.00 Exhibition – also at Broadway – on 1968 in Paris and Nottingham. Free.

3.00-5.00 Panel discussion about Nottingham in 1968, with Julian Atkinson (the impact of 1968 internationally), Mike Hamlin (the student movement), Roger Tanner (his memory of Paris May 68, because he was there), Jill Westby (fighting the colour bar campaign in Nottingham( and a speaker to be confirmed about local trade union campaigns in that year. Free. To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Broadway Cinema, Nottingham
Monday, 4th June
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Alicia Kopf reads from Brother in Ice

‘She thought that it was precisely when things get uncomfortable or can’t be shown that something interesting comes to light. That is the point of no return, the point that must be reached, the point you reach after crossing the border of what has already been said, what has already been seen. It’s cold out there.’

Alicia Kopf’s Brother in Ice, translated form the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem, and published by independent publisher And Other Stories, won the English Pen Award and the Premi Documenta literary award. We are delighted to welcome Alicia to read from and talk about her book. This hybrid novel—part research notes, part fictionalised diary, and part travelogue—uses the stories of polar exploration to make sense of the protagonist’s own concerns as she comes of age as an artist, a daughter, and a sister to an autistic brother. Conceptual and emotionally compelling, it advances fearlessly into the frozen emotional lacunae of difficult family relationships. Deserved winner of multiple awards upon its Catalan and Spanish publication, Brother in Ice is a richly rewarding journey into the unknown.

  • ‘In another country this book would have changed the course of history.’ Enrique Vila-Matas, author of The Illogic of Kassel
  • ‘Simultaneously serious and light, incidental and yet transcendental.’ El Periódico

£3 including refreshments

To book a place, simply email us at



Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 7th June
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Can we save Britain's wildlife? asks Mark Cocker



cocker“Environmental thought and ‘green’ politics have been mainstream parts of British culture for more than a century. Yet where did these ideas come from? And who created the cherished institutions, such as the National Trust or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, that are now embedded in our public life

“From the flatlands of Norfolk to the tundra-like expanses of the Flow Country in northernmost Scotland, I made a personal quest to find the answers to this question and to unravel what nature means to the British people. I also wanted to clarify how I truly felt and feel about what has happened to this country in the last half century.

“I explored in detail six special places that embody the history of conservation, or whose fortunes allow us to understand why our landscape has come to look as it does.  Above all [I attempt] to resolve a paradox: why do the British seem to love their countryside more than almost any other nation, yet they have come to live amid one of the most denatured landscapes on Earth?

“[My new book] Our Place is partly a work of history, partly a  personal geographical quest and partly a philosophical inquiry into our relationship with the rest of life. I’d like to think that it tackles some of the central issues of our age. And in its conclusion I attempt to map out how this over-crowded island of ours could be a place fit not just for its human occupants, but for all its billions of citizens.”

This year Mark Cocker completes 30 years as a Guardian country diarist. His ten other books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir. They include Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet  and Birds and People. The latter was published to international acclaim and was a collaboration with the photographer David Tipling. Between them these two were shortlisted for six literary awards including the Thwaites/Wainwright Prize. His book Crow Country was shorlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, and won the New Angle Prize (2009). Mark was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of East Anglia, where he has recently placed his archive

Tickets: £4 .  Note venue: Nottingham Mechanics, not the bookshop

A Bread and Roses event

Bar on site.

Booking essential. To book a place, simply email us at

Venue: Nottingham Mechanics Institute, Nottingham
Saturday, 16th June - Saturday, 30th June
All Day
Feminist Book Fortnight

A national celebration of feminist literature, initiated by Five Leaves Bookshop, with displays and events in independent bookshops throughout Britain. See where events around the country will be added as they are confirmed.


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